The Houston Rockets have completely reinvented their identity this season. In years past, the Rockets were an offensive juggernaut that hoped their defense could keep pace with the barrage of 3-pointers their attack unleashed.
2021 has been a completely different story as the Rockets are a defensive juggernaut with limitations on the offense side of the ball. Being elite on one side of the ball is a good start but if the Rockets are to crash the contender party this year they’ll need to step up their scoring.
Why the Rockets have flipped the script
The Rockets’ complete 180 in identity is not a total surprise. They lost their head coach, Mike D’Antoni, and traded away their top two scorers from last season, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Any team would be hard-pressed to replace 61.5 points per game but the Rockets drop from the league’s sixth-best offense last season to the 23rd to begin this season has left the franchise looking for answers. In their place, the Rockets have inserted John Wall and Victor Oladipo, two superior defenders but inferior offensive players on the whole.
How Stephen Silas can get it right
Stephen Silas was brought in to be the Rockets head coach because of the impact he had on the Dallas Mavericks’ league-best offense. With a shortened training camp and a whirlwind of roster moves over the opening of the season the Rockets were not in a great position to get their offense right from the jump.
With the league’s second-best defense, the Rockets can become a serious contender if they’re able to improve their offense into the upper half of the league. These are the three areas the Rockets need to improve to jumpstart their offense and make a serious run as a contender.
Next: Improvement #3